ESPM 4295 - GIS in Environmental Science and Management

This page organizes all the main course information and is used to distribute assignments and data sets. Throughout these pages, links are underlined.

Mandatory class participation days (in person or on zoom) are noted at the start of each week. 

Class materials are organized sequentially in accordion drop-downs, first activities, then deadlines, and finally resource

Canvas site for ESPM4295 - Used to turn in assignments, track grades


-  Andy Jenks can be reached at [email protected]  or 651-387-9600, or  Andy Jenks' Zoom Link

Each week is a set of three "accordions," which will expand when you click on the plus sign on the right. The assignments are described in the first, due dates in the second, and resources for the week in the third accordion. Use this information to complete each week's tasks.

Note that if you click on a link in one of the accordions it will sometimes open the link in this same tab, and sometimes it will open a new tab. It depends on how your browser is configured.  If you click the back button to this page, you may find the accordion closed, losing your place.  To avoid this, in Chrome, and many other browsers, you may right click on a link, and it will give you a choice to open the link in a new tab. A command-click or control-click will often do the same thing. If you find yourself doing this a lot and tire of it, then you may wish to search how to configure your browser to by default open in a new tab.

Schedule and Content

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Week 1, Sept 7th, Assignment - Project Introduction, Software Setup, Course Mechanics

Mandatory Class Meeting on Wednesday

Week 1 - Introduction, Course Mechanics, ArcGIS Set Up and Use
Our primary goals this week are to cover course mechanics, for you to set up and verify ArcGIS Pro and class data access from home, refresh basic ArcGIS use and digitizing, and introduce our semester-long problem spatial analysis project. Whew.

This course is split into two periods. We develop skills during the first six or so weeks, focusing primarily on two practice areas in the northern part of the St Paul Campus. The remainder of the semester focuses on analysis for two project watersheds for an expanded area (map here).

ArcGIS Software Access     

There are three ways to access the software.

The easiest and perhaps least convenient involves coming to our lab (35 Skok or 210A Green Hall).  Everything works, limited access evenings and weekends, schedule on the door.

A second route accesses ArcGIS Pro via the web, with an app that gives access to a virtual computer. We will use a software called Citrix Workspace/AppsToGo.

AppsToGo allows you to start a MS Windows virtual machines (VM) in most browsers, on most computers.  When we say VM in this class, we mean an ephemeral computer that runs on the cloud, and goes away when you close AppsToGo. It is a virtual instance of a computer, with all windows capabilities, running on a larger computer elsewhere. 

You have to copy data to the VM and work on it there, then copy your results back to a more permanent cloud or local drive, as all is lost when the VM is closed.

See videos/documents  in the resources section below regarding VM and data management.

Using a VM requires a fast and reliable internet connection

The third way is to install ArcGIS Pro on your home or lab computer (see Andy, need a fast computer, and some restrictions apply).


To do this week:

A) Scan the Semester Project Description linked here, to get an idea of what we're heading for over the next 15 weeks, and look at the Rainfall Mitigation description and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency guidelines, and this Minute Earth video on the coming "poopocalypse" for additional motivating information.

B) Set up access to ArcGIS Pro via a virtual machine/web browser, OR install ArcGIS Pro on a home machine, using the instructions found in the link to the X295 Software Setup, in the resources accordion for this week, below. 

C) Create a practice geodatabase in NAD83(CORS96/2011) UTM Zone 15 coordinates.  Refer to the materials in the resources accordion, below, if you need a refresher in getting started in ArcGIS Pro. If you still have questions, talk to Paul and Andy. We'll expect you to be able to create geodatabase layers and digitize into them quickly and easily for subsequent exercises. 

First, create a feature data set and within that data set create two feature classes,  1) a polygon feature class for a trees practice area, and 2) a polygon feature class for a landcover practice area. You must digitize your own layers.

Second, copy the NorthCampus_leafoff2017.tif image, found in the repository directory L: drive, under the 4295\CampusImages directory, your VM C:drive. It is large, so it will test your local internet speed, and whether you should plan on working more in the lab.  This will also require you set up a VPN and map the network drive to access the L: drive, as described in the X295 Software Setup document, in part B, above.  You will also find copies on the other cloud repositories, but you should transfer a copy to one of the persistent cloud drives (H: or W:). 

Third,  digitize the boundaries on the St. Paul Campus into the feature layers:

a) a Trees Practice Area outline into a polygon feature class you created, as shown on the practice map (practice map here), in the first couple of lines of this description, and

b) The larger Landcover Practice Area boundary, a polygon feature class, shown on the practice map linked above.

You'll only be digitizing the boundaries now.  You'll digitize the trees, landcover, and buildings in future assignments.

D) Create a map with an image background, your two digitized layers, your name, a title, scale bar, and north arrow, and export as a pdf. Use the naming/file saving conventions described in the Deadlines section for this week. Remember, you can get an image background for your output from the ArcGIS standard backgrounds, or from the class images, but you must digitize from the NorthCampus_leafoff2017 image.

One final note for this week, in this and all assignments and conduct, you're expected to understand and follow the Student Code of Conduct and Academic Integrity. Read it and let the instructors know if you don't understand any parts.

Week 1 Deadlines

Turn in assignments on the Course Canvas Site, for now, we'll start submitting assignments to both Canvas and an ArcGIS Online Story Map in about a month. Some activities are due the same week as assigned, but typically they are due the week after their assignment.

Prior to class Next (Week 2) Wednesday, before 10:40 a.m. :

  • Start an ArcGIS virtual machine through a browser (much preferred), or install an at-home copy, for ArcGIS Pro

  • Digitize the two polygons, one the landcover boundary, the other the trees boundary, as described in this week's assignment accordian.

  • Create and turn in a pdf map of the digitized features, plus an image background, name, title, scalebar, north arrow, and legend.

Next Wednesday before class is a hard deadline, you should turn in what you have completed by then. This class moves at a fast pace, and you can't be neglecting new work.  Once the deadline has passed, you will receive a 30% deduction from your graded score, and after two weeks, zero points. Unless noted otherwise, this will be our policy for assignments. If you're traveling out of town for another commitment, pre-clear tardy submissions.

Rules when turning things in to Canvas:

  • Submit maps as pdfs

  • Submit data as geodatabases (GDB extension), compressed in  .zip or Mac archive formats.  

  • Use this naming convention: include your initials at the start of your files, a descriptive phrase, and a W# where # is the week at the end of the filename.  For example, I might name my map "pvb_practicemap_W1.pdf", my geodatabase "pvb_practice_data_W1.gdb" and my zip file "".

Failure to follow this naming convention for compressed and component files may result in a deduction, and/or a return to you for re-submission. The naming and week identifiers greatly help me organize submissions and grading.

When you turn in geodatabases,  they should not contain copies of layers or extraneous intermediate layers, and the submitted layers should have descriptive names. If it isn't clear to me, I'll ask you to resubmit, and late deductions will apply.

When you turn in vector data layers, make sure you don't have extraneous columns in the tables.  The data may come with "extra" columns, or you may be generating intermediate columns through processing. Keep only those needed for the primary purpose of your data.

Week 1 Resources - slides, videos for Zip/Unzip, Videos for Software Setup, ArcGIS Refresher

Introductory Slides, day one slidesvideo (videos may refer to 2.5 and 5 cm rainfall. We've changed the amounts for this year, to 0.5 and 2.5 cm rainfall, don't be confused by last years values).

Semester Project "Big Picture" Overview Slides (refer to this throughout the semester)

PDF and video about Software Access
Watch This 1st, a "get started" video;  documents used in video are below: 
Getting Started with Citrix/CFANS Cloud Desktop
Using Citrix/CFANS Cloud Desktop
Using ArcGIS Pro important notes
Screenshots-Login into ArcGIS Pro start Lab

You have to be consistent in moving your work off the VM, due to it's ephemeral nature. All data on the VM disappears into the ether when you log off.

The VM is configured to create a cloud-resident C:, S: and W: drive, and connects to a CFANS L: drive.  The S, W, and L drives are persistent for the semester, so you should copy your data from/to those before closing the VM. Otherwise you'll lose your work.

We will be distributing base data from the S: and W: cloud drives. The same source data will be duplicated on the Skok Lab attached CFANS L: drive. The data for this class are in the ESPM5259 directory. There is ALSO an ESPM5295share directory, where you may create a sub-directory with your name and periodically save a copy of your data.



Do whatever data creation and analysis on the virtual C: drive. 



On a different note, some data sets or project bundles can't be turned in directly, and must be compressed in a package before submitting to Canvas. Here's a video on file compression:
How to Zip/Unzip


Review materials from FRNM3131 (note, data referred to below are in the 3131 course files, but you shouldn't need them for understanding the mechanics):

ArcGIS Pro Refresher295

  • Review this Video, if need be, for starting ArcGIS Pro, creating a new project
  • Here is a pdf excerpt from an intro course lab on creating a Geodatabase, and importing data into it - it is some pretty detailed text, may take a bit to wade through, but it may be a good reference if you've forgotten or didn't learn the startup process
  • Review video here on creating a geodatabase
  • Review video on creating a feature dataset
  • Review video here on digitizing polygons
  • Accessing the MNGeo WMS server in ArcGIS Pro, to specify an image background


There is a Personal Zoom Room for Paul and Personal Zoom Room for Andy

Email us if you wish to meet outside of class hours and we'll arrange a time to meet in this room.

Week 2, Sept. 12th - Assignments-Digitizing Review, Start Report

Week 2 - Digitize trees and write the introduction of your final report

Mandatory meeting on Monday

Task 1 - Digitize the tree canopy for the Trees practice area

Look in the S: drive or the L: drive, 4295W\Data folder, for the geodatabase named "PracticeAreas.gdb."  Copy this gdb to your virtual computer desktop (Citrix CFANS Cloud virtual machine). Among the data layers in the gdb is a polyogn "Trees_Dig_Area". You'll be using this as a boundary for digitizing this week. It corresponds to one of the areas you digitized last week, but we provide it here so that we all start on the same page. 

Your goal is to digitize each tree's canopy outline based on the images. You only have to digitize trees within the boundary defined by the layer Trees_Dig_Area in the PracticeAreas geodatabase.

There is another bounding polygon for the buildings, you will use that next week to digitize within the buildings area polygon.

Download the "NorthCampus_leafoff2017" and "NorthCampus_leafon2017"  photos to your "local" drive. These source files are on the class S: drive and the L drive, ESPM4295W directory, in the CampusImages folder. Note that there are other years' images for larger areas, you may access these also. 

Manually interpret individual tree crowns based on the various leaf-on and leaf-off images. It is best to use the 2017 images as a base, but you may use others for some areas. You can use leaf-off images to somewhat identify the crowns and to separate evergreen from deciduous trees, but leaf-on images provide the best source for crown edges.

You should do your best job of interpreting the individual trees, even where they grow in clumps. Do not be too meticulous in digitizing tree crowns. Something like 8 to 12 vertices should be acceptable for most crowns. Use autocomplete digitizing or split polygon digitizing on clumps (see resources at right). Remember that individual crowns cannot overlap with other crowns, you must have "planar" topology within this layer.

Also note that the tree crowns can overlap with buildings for this initial data set, but later we will remove the overlap, so don't spend too much time digitizing the detail where canopy overlaps buildings. We can use the Erase function later to remove the overlapping tree portions. 

You should create a text attribute named something like TreeType with the values "conifer" or "deciduous" assigned as appropriate for each polygon. You can interpret deciduous/conifer from inspecting the leaf-off and leaf-on images

Task 2 - Begin your semester-long report by writing a polished draft of the introduction. You should write this draft in MSWord or Apple Pages, or a software that can save to one of those formats. Turn track changes on so that I can see evidence of your editing. This draft should be the equivalent of two to five pages at 1.5 line spacing, not counting figures. It should describe:

  • the problem you're addressing,  
  • why we're interested in doing this, 
  • a description and map/figure of the study area (remember, the two large watersheds, NOT the practice areas), and
  • the general approach you'll be using. 

Look at the information on rainwater and runoff provided in the first week and the project description for information.  Also look at the example reports in this week's resources columns for good examples of details, depth, and voice in report introductions. 

Your writing should describe work over the entire, two watershed analysis areas of the semester project (map here), and not just your practice areas.  We want to build the report in pieces over the course of the semester. If your graphics and text refer to the practice areas as your study area, you'll cause yourself more work, in that you'll have to re-write sections and create new figures for your final report. You can include graphic examples from the Trees and Landcover practice/skills areas you're digitizing, but be strategic so that you don't show the practice area boundaries in the figures. You should be clear to describe images of the digitized tree, building, or landcover layers as examples from a sub-area of your overall study area.

You should write mostly in the present tense when describing general problems or conditions (e.g., "managing rainfall runoff is one of the most common and expensive problems in developed areas,"  and the past tense when you're describing the data development and analysis of your project (e.g., "we used several images as data sources..."). Although the parts of the introduction describing your data and analysis will be vague at this point, because you haven't developed them, there is enough in the project description to provide a general outline of your data and approach. Write in the past tense as if you've already completed your data development and analysis, even though you haven't started yet. You'll slowly build the report, an assignment at a time, so you'll revise the introduction and add methods, results, and recommendations in later labs, writing in the past tense now saves you work later. 

I'll expect you will have gone through the write-read-revise cycle several times for this first draft, to make sure it is clear, concise, complete, well organized, and grammatically and factually correct. Read the materials in this week's resources column on general writing guidelines.  You must turn in two drafts: First, an initial draft that is fairly complete, and a second draft, with track changes on, in which you've tried to improve on clarity, grammar, spelling, and formatting. You must have track changes turned on between drafts.

Report guidelines are summarized here.  If you don't follow them, you'll be graded harshly.

If there is a tradeoff between finishing the digitizing, and skimping on the report introduction, polish the introduction first.

Week 2 - Deadlines

By next Monday, before the start of class, turn in: 

  1. A pdf map of the tree crowns, colored by TreeType, with an image background, and your trees practice area boundary, and the usual map elements (title, name, legend, scalebar, etc.). It is o.k. on this map if your trees overlap with buildings.
  2. A compressed (zipped or archived) geodatabase containing your trees layer.
  3. Two versions of a draft introduction for your report, an initial version, and a revised version, with track changes on. Remember to follow the report guidelines, link embedded in the assignments section for this week, you'll be marked down if you don't follow these guidelines.

    Remember, you should turn this version in as an MSWord or Apple Pages file. If you use another word processor that doesn't export to these formats, please let me know and we'll arrange something. 

    Also note that for the second through final drafts you'll be submitting later in the semester will be created, edited, and turned in via ArcGIS Online Story Maps.


Week 2 - Resources, Videos on Digitizing Mechanics, Tools, and Example Reports

Week 2 Slides on digitizing,  writing examples, REPORT GUIDELINES

Video here on using the course data - Do not access data on the course L: or S: or W; drives from within ArcGIS. ALWAYS copy data to the virtual computer (desktop is easiest, or VM C: drive) and then work with the data on the virtual machine local drive. Then copy any new or changed data back to the W:, S:, or L: drive, or to your own computer, or a USB drive or other "permanent" storage. If you load directly from the L drive into ArcGIS, software response will be slow (if not now, then certainly later when your files get larger) and you will likely lose data, time, and work.

A video here covers files/projects/directories in the virtual machine C:  and cloud drives (W:) we're using in this class

Support for editing, see the intro videos provided in Week 1 on creating a geodatabase and digitizing points and polygons, and these below, excerpted and modified from FNRM3131 for more efficient digitizing:

Additional tools that might be useful for your report:

Examples of professionally written reports - good examples of proper tone, grammer, and level of detail:

1: Browns Creek
2: NPS Pollinator Survey
3: NPS Kettle Ponds
4: Dall Sheep Survey
5: Grand Sable Netting

You should create a study area figure in your draft introduction, using the full watershed outlines in the Practice Areas Geodatabase provided in the L: drive, in the Data subdirectory.

Week 3, Sept. 19th - Assignment, Topology, Project Geodatabases

Monday Mandatory
Wednesday Optional attendance

Week 3 - Create/activate ArcGIS Online account, Create Project Geodatabase, Digitize, Topologize

Create ArcGIS Online Account.  You will write your project report as a Story Map in ArcGIS Online. This is a web-based tool for combining text, images, and maps. Yours can be relatively simple, with mostly text and images, and only one required interactive map, although you may add "bells and whistles" later on if you wish.

Create an ArcGIS Online Account (if you don't already have one) under the UMN ArcGIS license. Most ArcGIS Online and Story Map tools require a paid account, but you all get a free account through the UMN site license. Create an account using your UMN email and X500  (see the documents in the Resource accordion for this week, below).  Email me when you have created your account.  I will create a group for each student, with Andy and I as co-members, so that we may review, grade, and provide feedback on your Story Maps. 

All future writing will be completed within this Story Map, although you will also export a pdf from your Story Map so that I may know you're done for each step, and I can grade, edit, and offer suggestions for improvement.  For now just create your account.

Create a Geodatabase with topology for the north campus practice area, containing the layers listed below. Review topology editing/digitizing in ArcGIS pro as needed (videos in Resources section below). 

Import the LandBuild_Dig_Area from the Practice_Areas geodatabase you used last week, into your new geodatabase.

Your geodatabase should have a feature data set that includes the following feature classes (layers):
1) A "Landcover" polygon layer recording surface cover, with a text column named "material" for the surface type that contains two categories, either 1) impervious (e.g., roads, sidewalks, parking lots, paved plazas) or 2) pervious (grass, flower beds, non-compacted dirt, forested areas, shrubs). 

2) A "Buildings" polygon layer to hold all building footprints for the landcover practice area, with an attribute for the name (text), and roof type (with flat or pitched values).

3) A "Tree Canopy" data layer, imported from last week's digitizing.  Import those data into your geodatabase if you digitized them as a shapefile, or from last week's geodatabase.

4) The LandBuild_Dig_Area layer encompassing your landcover/building "practice" study area - this is imported from the Practice_Areas gdb.

5) Layer topology, with, topological restrictions as:

  • Land Cover and Buildings must not overlap,
  • Land Cover polygons must not have gaps (except the holes created by Buildings) 
  • Trees and buildings must not overlap - remove the tree canopy where it overlaps buildings
  • All layers must be contained within your Study Area Boundary

Start Digitizing Landcover in the "Landcover/Buildings" Practice Area. Digitize landcover for at least 50% of your practice area, and all buildings for that same 50% area, and test the topology rules. Use primarily the 2017 images, but use other images as needed (e.g., WMS images, other years' campus images, as available)  to locate building edges as best you can.

Week 3 - Deadlines

By next Monday before the start of class:

1) Respond to the Canvas prompt AND send me an email when you've created your arcgis online account (to [email protected])

2) Submit to Canvas your geodatabase with your digitized trees layer, the empty landcover and building layers as assigned above, and completely specified topology rules.

Remember to use our standard naming convention (initials on the front, week on the back of the name), and zip up your data into an archive.

3) You should also turn in a pdf map to Canvas that shows at least 50% your landcover and 50% of your buildings digitized, with the usual map elements.

Week 3 - Resources, ArcGIS Online Accounts, ArcGIS Catalog and Managing Geodatabases, Project and Folder Organization, Cleaning Topology

Week 3 Slides, Creating an ArcGIS online account, catalog management, digitizing and topology 

Instructions here on creating/activating an ArcGIS Online account.

Videos on general folder and project data management:


Below are  videos on topology to help with the actual mechanics of creating topology and fixing topological errors in ArcGIS: 

-Create topology, 
-Fixing topological errors 

Your rules specify that the buildings layer must not overlap with trees. You can enforce this with the Erase tool, by first digitizing all the buildings, then erasing the trees with the building footprints. 

 You need to create a landcover layer that has no gaps or overlaps with the buildings layer. The easiest way to do this is to digitize the landcover, extending all polygons into the buildings. Then use the Erase command to punch out the buildings from the landcover, with a matched edge.

See this video and read the documentation on the Erase tool.

Week 4, Sept. 26th - Assignment, Finishing Practice Area Digitizing, Write First Report Draft, Workflows

Monday, Wednesday, optional attendance
Week 4
- Finish D
igitizing, Cleaning, and Adding Attributes To Your Geodatabase;  
- Start Methods Section of Your Report
- Create a story map, transfer your introduction text and figures into the story map, and write the methods section directly into your story map.

Complete buildings and landcover  - finish digitizing the landcover and building layers for the test areas.

Complete cleaning the topology for the practice areas, verify and fix topology for landcover/buildings, keeping the data logically consistent across layers, and complete the building roof type and landcover type and maximum infiltration attributes. Your data should be topologically "clean," with all "real" errors fixed, before you turn it in, but if it isn't, turn in progress by the deadline. 

Create a map showing your landcover data layer, and display the "clean" topology, after checking for and fixing any topological errors. Be sure to include the topology and participating data layers in your PDF map, and that only the "faux" errors appear in your topology.

Create a map of your canopy and buildings for the "landcover" practice area, with an image background. The canopy should be colored by type (conifers one color, deciduous trees another), and buildings should be colored by roof type (flat roofs one color, pitched roofs another). 

Note that the canopy may not overlap buildings, so you should use the ArcGIS Erase tool or other methods to remove any parts of trees that overlap buildings. Color your trees and building layers with semi-transparent fills so that it is apparent they don't overlap.

Start on the Methods section for your final report, describing data creation.  This should describe your digitizing/topology creation, with a be written directly into Story Map, and the equivalent of at least two pages of text. You should include several descriptive figures. You should also include another up to two pages on the analysis you will be doing (but write in the past tense, as if you've already done it). You should have a fairly concrete, clear description of the data development you've completed or nearly completed (the vector layers and topology).  Your description of the data as yet to be completed (e.g., soils) and your analysis workflow will be somewhat vague, but it should be clear that you've read the project analysis requirements, and have thought about the steps you need to take to reach your end goal. You will improve the methods section in future drafts.

DO NOT reference specific ArcGIS tools in your description. This is too much detail. Describing important parameters, e.g., that you used a snapping tolerance of one meter or listing and describing a set of planar topology rules is fine. You should not write at the level of detail that "I used the ArcGIS editor merge tool to merge polygons and opened the table editor to add columns." You typically write that you used a software (ArcGIS Pro version 2.x) for your project, and and more generically describe the methods and steps.  Note the example reports in the Week 2 Resources column, for an appropriate level of detail.

You'll be writing this in an ArcGIS Online Story Map, and you'll copy or retype the introduction from the last assignment into this assignment, so your story map contains both the introduction and methods. The introduction should be edited based on feedback received. The expected page lengths we give above aren't exact, because there aren't any standard pages in a story map. The page estimates assume a line spacing of 1.5, with about 375 words per page, so it should be about 750 to 2250 words total.  You should add four or five maps as images for the methods section, exported from ArcGIS Pro, e.g., the basic study area and boundary, annotated, somewhere near the start.  You may/should add other figures to help describe the general problem, e.g., the two target watersheds, and example figures of the digitized canopy/ buildings and landcover you developed.  You may use the maps you've already produced for previous assignments, as appropriate, but your methods section should describe these as examples; don't refer to your practice area as the entire study area, otherwise, you will have to rewrite these sections or redo these figures later (remember, we'll be doing an analysis for a larger, two-watershed study area as the focus of our report, and to save time you are able to use the graphics you create now in that final report, rather than having to redo these images for the entire study area).

You should not include the "clean topology" map in your Story Map.

You may have to redo these maps if the fonts, writing, or other characteristics aren't appropriate for display in your Story Map as a figure. The font sizes, symbology, and the arrangement of map elements should will be readable when scaled to your Story Map display. Generally, you want fonts that are no smaller than 10 points on a 15" (laptop) screen, so if you resize the image, you need to take this into account. The most common mistake is shrinking an image to fit on a page and thereby reducing fonts to a 4 or 5 point size, which renders them useless.

Also remember that figures should have captions below the figure with the sequential figure number, and a short description of the figure contents.

You will export pdfs to turn in to Canvas, but you should also export images (e.g., .jpeg) to use in your story map.

Note there is a second part of the methods required here, a description of the analysis part you've yet to start.  I want you to think about how you'll do this, and write the equivalent of at least two pages, and hopefully more, of your initial thoughts. In order to write this section, you will have to refer back to the project description provided in the first week, the flowchart, and the data development activities over the next two weeks so that you can describe the overall project methods.

You need to include a general description of the analysis, describing how you will process the data to reach your goals. This will be perhaps a bit difficult now, in that you may not know what process you will follow, but you have to include some description of your overall analysis to arrive at an answer, even if it is in the broadest of language and not described in great detail. The point is to get you to review the project goals now, and to think about how you will process data to reach them.  Re-read the project description assigned the first week, and review the lecture description of our analysis model, and include a written and/or graphic description of your general approach and general processing steps for your analysis.

Week 4 - Deadlines

Next Monday, before the start of class turn in:

  1. Your completed geodatabase, that includes buildings, tree canopy, landcover, and topology. Do not include the images in the geodatabase, and remember to zip it or create a Mac archive before submission.
  2.  A PDF map with landcover and your clean topology, with all errors fixed. Include the topology in the legend and on the map.
  3.  A PDF map of the tree canopy and buildings.

Include a north arrow, scale, and legend on the map, as usual, but you don't need to include your name.  Pay attention to font size so any legend or text entries for the tree canopy and landcover maps are readable in your Story Map, if you are going to include them in your Story Map.  You shouldn't include a map of clean topology in your Story Map, you can just note in the methods that you checked/cleaned topology.

You should also start on the methods section of your report, and start your ArcGIS online Story Map.  This second draft, as a story map, is due in two weeks (Monday of week 6). 

Week 4 - Resources, Introduction to Workflows, Data Development and Analysis, Flowcharting with

Methods, Data Development & Analysis Overview slides.

Short lecture on Workflow, to help with writing methods section, and a brief description of a "big picture" flowchart

Using to create a flowchart

Week 5, Oct. 3rd - Assignment: Watersheds, Story Maps

Monday Mandatory, in-person 
Wednesday Optional Attendance

Week 5 - Complete 2nd Report Draft, Create Watersheds, Flowlines

2nd report draft:

  • Edit/improve your introduction according to feedback you received on your last draft, and 
  • Finish your draft of the Methods section for your report. Your methods section should include a description of your data development methods, and a broad, generalized description, including a flowchart, of how you are going to do your analysis. You don't need too many details in this broad description, but I want you to start thinking about this now, so that you can quickly begin work when we start the analysis.

As noted above, you will be doing this report as an online Story Map. To turn in your work, we will use two venues.  First, I will have created a group with myself, Andy, and each of you in an individual group. You should update your report in your Story Map, adding text and inserting figures and tables as appropriate.

Second, you should export a pdf of your entire Story Map draft, and submit it to Canvas. Don't worry if this export garbles the output, the ArcGIS Online exporter often makes a hash of it. Turn in whatever it exports. We can review/grade the report online if we need to, no need to spend a great deal of time getting the export to work if it doesn't cooperate.

Create watersheds and Flowlines
Your goal is to create watersheds for our study area, and flowpaths
, the surface paths along which water is expected to flow based on topography. Your watershed boundaries should look approximately like the map linked here. Pourpoints and a DEM are in the "Sheds" geodatabase in the class L drive, in the Data directory.  Retrieve this, and calculate the watersheds with the two vector pourpoints as outlets, using the provided DEM. The DEM and pourpoints are in the Sheds.gdb geodatabase in the Data directory on the class L drive. Note that the watersheds go outside the bounds of the previous PracticeAreas polygon, do not clip your results to the LandBuild_Dig or Trees_Dig areas, we're transitioning to a larger area. Your output will be vector polygons of the watersheds, and vector flowlines from the flow accumulation layer, with somewhere between a 150 and 300 sq-m threshold for flowline definition (i.e., assign flow accumulation areas < 200 to null, >200 to 1). 

We provide a figure of the approximate flowchart here. Note that important steps and branches are missing, but you may use this as a starting point.

YOU DON'T NEED TO DO THE DEM FILL STEP WHILE CALCULATING WATERSHEDS in this exercise, the DEM has already been conditioned for you.

Creating watersheds was covered in FNRM3131/5131, but many of you will not have taken that course, or it has been a while, so we provide links to instructions. See the videos and pdfs in this week's resources section, below.

The watershed tool sometimes returns incomplete watersheds. The D8 algorithm only allows water to drain to one of eight directions, and in nearly flat terrain you can get divergent flow where you shouldn't. Sometimes this results in a cell near your flow channel with a slightly off direction, creating a second watershed upstream that doesn't drain into your pourpoint. 

Your watersheds should approximately match that of the map shown linked a few paragraphs up. If not, perhaps use a different pourpoint distance, or manually move the pourpoints to be closer to the initial flowlines.

The flowpaths (also called flowlines) might not intersect the provided pourpoints, but only run near.  You should use the SNAP POURPOINT function, with a snap distance of less than 5 meters, for this exercise.  

Create a map of your watersheds, with a suitable image background, flowlines, and the usual legend, north arrow, etc. Create two exports, 1) an image, and add it to your Story Map, and 2) a pdf, which you turn in on Canvas.

Create a detailed flowchart that describes your specific watershed workflow. This flowchart should include each step, the names of the specific ArcGIS tools you used, and the descriptive, understandable names of the output layers (not "out1," "out2", etc.).  Any key parameters should also be noted on the flowchart (e.g., snap pour point distance). Export as a pdf, and turn in on Canvas.

Week 5 - Deadlines

Next Monday, before the start of class:

  1. create your report 2nd draft, as a shared Story Map, and an exported pdf submitted to Canvas.
  2. calculate watersheds and add a map of your watersheds, with flowlines, to your Story Map,
  3. submit via Canvas a pdf map of watersheds, with flowlines,
  4. submit via Canvas a flowchart of your process, (see note on creation and the drawio tool, in the resources section below).

Important! As noted in the more detailed materials provided earlier, DO NOT write your methods as an overtly sequential description in your report, and DO NOT frequently refer to specific ArcGIS Pro tools. As in the example reports provided in the Week 2 resources section, professional reports rarely include this level of detail or form in their methods

Week 5 - Resources: Watershed Creation, 2nd Draft Details, Basics of Creating and Editing Story Maps

Watershed Slides

Most of you should have had exposure to the concept of watershed delineation based on a raster DEM.  Here is an excerpt from the "GIS Fundamentals" textbook explaining the general idea, for review: Watershed Background

Below are a video and instructions excerpted from FNRM3131/5131.  The students in that class are provided a "well-behaved" DEM, that has been pre-processed to work. You'll need to substitute your different input files and other parameters, but these provide an example of the workflow in ArcGIS Pro.

Creating watershed instructions, excerpted from 3131/5131, here using the tools:

  • Flow direction
  • Flow accumulation
  • Snap pour points (snap distance less than 5 m)
  • Watersheds

You DON'T NEED TO USE the FILL function on your DEM, included in some of the descriptive materials. The DEM has already been filled for you.  

Video for Watershed Creation

Video for creating vector flowlines from flow accumulation layer. This may require use of the tools

  • Raster Reclassify
  • Raster to polylines

You'll need to make a flowchart of your watershed processing workflow, you may create it in MSWord or other word processing software, powerpoint, any drawing package, or the flowchart package  drawio, which should be on the CFANS computers in Skok Hall, and our VM template.  Here is a video on drawio:

Using to create a flowchart

Report 2nd Draft
Slides from lecture

Report guidelines here

A very short video on toggling reviewers in MSWord to better see the edits and comments I made on your first draft, which you will incorporate into your second draft. 

ArcGIS online Story Map resources:

Basics of Creating Story Maps
Logging in to UMN Story Maps
Briefest intro to Story Maps
Exporting a JPG image for your Story Map
Generating a PDF of your Story Map to turn in
Sharing your story map to a group

Getting started (ESRI)
The rest of the Story Maps getting started series, more there than you need, choose the parts that are helpful (ESRI)

Story Map Resources for Students (UMN)

Example Story Maps (more complicated than yours need be, but to give you ideas)
Hydrology of contrasting catchments
Flood impact analysis 
FEMA flood risks
Calgary River flooding

Again, resources for creating images to embed in your story map, repeat from week 1:

  • MS Windows Snip image from screen for figures 
  • ArcGIS Pro Export image from data frame for figures

Week 6, Oct 10th - Assignments - Model Builder

Monday Mandatory
Wednesday, Optional attendance

Week 6 -   Work Flows and Model Builder
Introduction to Model Builder
This week we'll also redo the watershed delineation exercise, but this time to more explicitly demonstrate the use of Model Builder, a tool for codifying workflows. Model builder perhaps isn't worth the bother for small spatial problems you'll be doing only once, but is useful for complex spatial workflows, and for simpler or complex workflows you'll be repeating with different data sets or parameters.

Look at the example video, the Model Builder Quick Tour, Getting Started, and other resources from ESRI, linked in the resources accordion, below.

Start a new project, copy in the campus DEM and the pourpoint file you used last week, found in the course L drive, data directory, and pourpoints from the Sheds.gdb. Build a processing model for watershed delineation using the ArcGIS model builder tool. You basically enter the steps into Model Builder that you applied manually in last week's exercise.

Your model must start with a DEM and pourpoints. Use these to create watersheds and vector flowlines.

You should make the input and output data layers, the snap pourpoint distance, and the threshold area required for a streamline as parameters, entered at run time.

The model saves file paths to data in your project, so you need to turn in your model, project, and your geodatabase.  In theory you can do this by exporting a Project Package, as shown in the video in the Resources section, below. However, the project packaging works intermittently, for unknown reasons (even to ESRI). If you have problems creating a package, then save using the alternative, zipping the folder that contains all your project parts, including the model toolbox, data, and project, as described in the "zipping all project files" in the Resources accordion below.

Week 6 - Deadlines

Next Monday, before class,

turn in:

  1. A pdf map of your watersheds, that includes the watershed boundaries, stream lines, and an image background,
  2. Your ArcGIS Model Builder model and data,
    a) either by zipping the project files (a .gdb, a .tbx, a .aprx, and an index, all within the enclosing directory automatically created by Arc when you start a new project), or
    b) exported as a project package, or as a zipped file for the entire project directory. Make sure the directory includes the gdb that holds your flow direction, flow accumulation, output watersheds, and flowlines referenced by your model, and the model builder model.

Week 6 - Resources

Model Builder Introductory Slides.

Slides on Making MB models portable

A simple Model Builder example video

Model Builder resources from ESRI:

-Quick Tour
-Getting Started Building Models
-Model Builder 101
-Model Builder 202 (this is for an earlier Arc version, but much still applies)

If you have time, you can investigate the ESRI Geoprocessing courses, starting here.
Note that you have to sign in through the UMN account, using your X500 name and login, for access.

Finally, since your model builder lives inside a project, and you should turn in both your data and the model.

The preferred way to share your work is by creating something called an export package as shown in the video below, but there is currently a problem as noted above in the assignment:

Exporting a Project Package to submit to Canvas

Unfortunately, it appears exporting a package works intermittently, so another option which should work involves zipping the containing folder, including the toolbox files (.tbx), index, geodatabase, and project file, as shown in the video below:

Zipping all project files to submit to Canvas

Week 7, Oct 17th - Assignment - Project Roadmap, Full Area Data Distribution, Workflows

Mandatory meeting on Monday and Wednesday this week
Week 7
Project Roadmap, Flowcharting, Project-Wide Data

Monday and Wednesday in Class - we'll discuss the overall project, analysis, and output. 

1) Re-read the detailed project description (linked here, same as provided in week 1 assignment), review the general flowchart, and create a detailed flowchart for the interception sub-workflow.
Carefully re-read the semester project description provided in the Assignment section the first week, and develop a draft flowchart of your analysis. This will likely be much more complete and refined than what you included in your methods draft. You need to think about the spatial operations and order in which they'll be applied, represented by a box and arrows diagram you'll apply. Come to our meeting on Monday prepared to ask questions about anything that's not clear.

We provide a basic flowchart in the resources below, also embedded within the flowcharting exercise below. We will discuss an example flowchart, and on Wednesday provide a refresher on some analysis tools that you'll likely use to solve our problem. 

This flowchart is missing some details. This week you will provide the details for the canopy interception sub-workflow, a small branch of the overall flowchart, you will expand and add details, and verify your sub-workflow is valid by applying it.  Follow the instructions in the Canopy Interception/Net Rainfall Flowcharting exercise here

2) Get Acquainted and Condition the Project-Wide Data
We've provided campus-wide data very similar to those you have been developing, plus some more. All work from here forward will be using these campus-wide data, and NOT those that you have developed for the North Campus Practice area, earlier.

The data are available on the class L drive, in the Data directory, in the WholeProjectData.gdb geodatabase. You will have to modify the data layers a bit for your analysis, e.g., modify or add attributes to change units from cm to meters in the soils data, or add a maximum canopy interception attribute, but these are relatively minor.

Layers and important attributes are:
Soils: Type, a text description of the dominant texture. We provide information on infiltration rates for each of the dominant textures in the project description.
SurfacePermeabilityType, indicating if the landcover surface is permeable or impermeable
TreeCanopy: Type, value Dec indicating deciduous trees, value Con indicating coniferous; CanopyHeig, indicating short or tall trees. You will have to add maximum interception/absorption rates for each height/type combination, as per the project description.
BuildingsRoof, values pitched or FLAT (not green roofs on pitched surfaces)
Project_Study_Area: a bounding area, no attributes of note
Pourpoint2020ppid, numeric identifiers for the watershed outlets 

Note that there is not a watersheds layer, nor DEM, you will have to import those from the previous labs into your geodatabase.

There are also no rainfall layers, you should create these.

Wednesday - Tools and Analysis
We'll review these tools in class, and describe how we might use them in a workflow to solve your primary analysis:

  • Clip function - for data prep
  • Union (in addition to last week)
  • Dissolve, often used after Union
  • Polygon to raster
  • Raster calculator

Week 7 - Deadlines

Before the start of class on Monday, next week

  • Turn in your flowchart exercise, the first draft of your detailed flowchart, as a pdf.
  • Turn in a net interception map, CInt in the example flowchart.  Note that you must show areas where there are no trees with a value of zero interception. You should only have five interception values, one for each of the canopy/height combinations (4), and zero.
  • Turn in a net rainfall map, that is, a map of rainfall minus canopy interception. This is the layer labeled RAS that result from applying your sub-workflow in the flowcharting exercise. Display/color it by net rainfall values, in meters, for the extent of the study area.
  • Create images of the above net interception and net rainfall maps in forms/formats appropriate for your Story Map, and put these into your Story Map as a figure with a caption. They are an important part of the results. For many layers you create you will have to decide whether you want these in the main body of the narrative, or if you want them in an appendix, or to leave them out entirely. You should include one net interception figure in the main body of your report, and in the future examples of the other main outputs as we create them.  Create them as figures appropriate for your Story Map (layout, font sizes, included description, figure caption). You can alter these later, but best to think about the structure you want now so you don't have too much work in the future.

Week 7 - Resources

Week's slides 

Tool Review slides

Example flowchart graphic (vector analysis, then raster)

Video refreshers on common tools (from FNRM3131)

-Selecting and calculating fields for vector layers
-Clip & Intersect tools
-Dissolve function
-Union note that the union function often creates multipart shapes, so you'll need to do the multi-part to single part to separate them before further analysis
-Multipart to singlepart
-Raster Calculator 

You should use the search function as described in the Finding tools in ArcGIS Pro video and search the online ArcGIS Pro documentation, to understand and then apply the:

-Polygon to Raster tool, to convert vector features to rasters, prior to using the raster calculator

Week 8, Oct 24th - Assignment - Calculate Maximum Surface Absorption

Monday Mandatory, in-person 
Wednesday Optional attendance

Week 8 -  Maximum surface absorption/infiltration layer creation

Surface absorption layer: Calculate maximum surface absorption, and create a flowchart of your process that combines the landcover, buildings, and soils layer to create this maximum surface absorption layer. This layer will have a value of zero for the impervious landcovers (roads, sidewalks) and a zero for buildings, and the maximum soil infiltration layer for the remaining locations. 

Students in 4295 ARE NOT REQUIRED, BUT ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED, to make a Model Builder model for this workflow. Students in 5295 DO have to eventually make a Model Builder model for this workflow. Don't be confused. Optionally, for extra credit, 4295 students can make a model builder model that calculates your maximum surface absorption layer.

Turn in a pdf map of the maximum infiltration layer, and a flowchart of your sub-workflow to calculate maximum absorption/infiltration, as described in the deadline accordion below.

Week 8 - Deadlines

By next Monday, before class, turn in:

  1. Map of the maximum surface absorption layer you created that shows infiltration across the surface, colored by m absorption per square meter (m2) of surface area, with the usual title, legend, scale bar, and other map elements. This should be exported as a figure and placed in your Story Map, and turned in as a PDF to Canvas.
  2. Flowchart of your maximum infiltration workflow, as a PDF.

Week 8 - Resources

Week's slides:  Calculate Maximum Infiltration Layer Manually, and Net Rainfall in Model Builder (MB)


You may assign individual canopy interception based on canopy height and type, via selecting table records based on values, manually, or in Model Builder 

Long(ish) video here with a general hint at how to structure your geodatabases for easier debugging in Model Builder (MB), and I walk through a MB model.

Video here on stepping through a MB model, running a single tool at a time.

An example video of using a code block to shorten the number of steps calculate a field value for a feature, based on other column values for that feature. 

Another brief example on else-if python code block, an alternative to multi-step selection, but more complicated

Short video on a strategy to use when MB doesn't display an input file in a subsequent tool in a workflow.

Video here on making your models portable across projects. ArcGIS Pro 3 changed from 2.x, so this is a bit of an update/addition to the previous videos/instructions on making models portable

Week 9, Oct 31st - Assignment - Calculate Net Runoff for 0.5 cm

Monday Mandatory, in-person
Wednesday Optional Attendance

Week 9 - 
More Tools, Calculating Net Runoff for 0.5 cm Rainfall

We'll introduce the general steps needed to create a net runoff layer. This will involve combining the three branches of analysis you've already conducted - net rainfall (after interception), maximum surface absorption, and watersheds. Most of the work will be with tools you already know, but we will introduce a few new tools, needed to aggregate over the watersheds:

  • Zonal statistics for Raster
  • Summary Statistics for Vector

 You should apply the combined workflow, and calculate net runoff for your two watersheds, based on current surface conditions and a 0.5 cm storm.

Week 9 - Deadlines

By next Monday, before class, turn in two maps and a spreadsheet:

  1. Map that includes which shows the net runoff layer for a 0.5 cm rainfall event for each watershed.  The net rainfall is the layer that comes from rainfall, minus interception, minus surface absorption, with negative values set to zero. Include watershed boundaries on the map. As with all maps from now on, you should both turn in a pdf and export an image which you place in your Story Map.
  2. A spreadsheet or pdf table with a row for each watershed, with columns of your average interception per watershed in cm, average maximum infiltration in cm, and summed aggregate runoff, in cubic meters, for each of the target watersheds. Again, submitted to canvas, and included in your Story map, either exported as an image typed in directly.  If you export as an image, pay attention to readability - it shouldn't be obvious that this was from an Excel or other spreadsheet, but rather should look like the tables in the example reports provided in the first few weeks.

Week 9 - Resources

Week's slides, Reclassification and Summarize by Zones to table, here

Example here on how to summarize or calculate other zonal statistics across a  layer to a table.

2nd example here of how to summarize across a vector polygon layer/table.

Long(ish) video here with a general hint at how to structure your geodatabases for easier debugging in Model Builder (MB),  and I walk through a MB model that roughly follows the earlier provided general flowchart.

Video here on stepping through a MB model, running a single tool at a time, while debugging.

Week 10, Nov. 7th - Assignments - Calculate Runoff for 2.5 cm Rainfall, Start Report Draft 3, Results

Optional attendance, both Monday and Wednesday

Week 10 - Calculate Runoff for 2.5 cm Rainfall, start Report Draft 3

Apply your analysis workflow to estimate runoff for the 2.5 cm rainfall event, analogous to what you produced last week, just at a higher rain level. Create maps of 1) interception and 2) runoff, and a table, produce pdfs, and turn these in as pdfs, and include them in your Story Map.

Start report draft 3. Your report draft 3 should include revisions of your introduction and methods, and a new results section describing your runoff results for the 0.5cm and 2.5cm rainfall-runoff for conditions as they are now. The results section should be 1000 to 2500 words of text, about the same as 3 to 5 pages, not counting figure or table captions. You'll write this directly in the Story Map for your project.

Note that the full report draft 3 is due in 2 weeks, but we have you turn in parts this week and next week. 

Next week you will turn in maps and tables for the full analysis, e.g., net runoff for various levels, that should be in your report draft; see the deadlines for specifics.

Report draft 3 is due in two weeks, and should include:

1) A revised introduction and methods sections, based on previous grading/comments. You should include  two flowcharts,  
- a detailed flowchart of your current-condition analysis workflow (before landscape modification/mitigation)  in an appendix, not in your methods section, and
- a  generalized flowchart of your workflow above, in your methods section, showing the main branches of analysis.

The detailed flowchart is each step, with the names of the ArcGIS tools and all your intermediate layers. Be sure to keep the fonts large enough to easily read. You will likely have to break the flowchart up, into several sections, on separate pages. This detailed flowchart will be placed in your appendix.

The generalized flowchart is the main branches, combined to their general topics and actions, e.g., a branch to develop net rainfall inputs, a branch to develop surface permeabilities, a branch for watersheds, etc. This will fit on one page at most, and is appropriate for the body of the report, in your methods section. It should be even more generalized than the example flowchart we provided for you earlier.

2)  A results section describing your findings for the base case rainfall for both 0.5 and 2.5 cm rainfall events.  The results section should include the runoff volumes table in the format specified in the project description.

Your results section should also include maps of your estimated runoff under 0.5 and 2.5 cm rainfall, and important component or intermediate results, e.g., realized canopy interception and/or infiltration at the various rainfall levels.

Remember that the target audience is the set of administrators in charge of the University's physical environment and stormwater management. They don't know anything about GIS software, or GIS theory, or any jargon on geospatial analysis terms. You need to provide enough detail so that an intelligent non-expert will understand what you did, and be convinced that your methods are sound and your recommendations are valid.

Week 10 - Deadlines

By next Monday, turn in, as pdfs and images/text placed in your Story Map: 

1) Map of 2.5 cm net rainfall,

2) Map of net 2.5 cm storm runoff; maps should be appropriately symbolized across the range of the main layer,


3) a table showing net runoff, in cubic meters of water, by watershed for each of the 0.5 and 2.5 cm storms,

Week 10 - Resources

The 2.5 cm analysis is just a repeat of the workflow you did with the 0.5 cm rainfall event, except now you are using a 2.5 cm rainfall event.

Week 11, Nov. 14th - Assignments - Mitigation Strategies

Monday Mandatory
Wednesday Optional Attendance

Week 11 -  Discuss and implement strategies for mitigation, create "new" forest canopy, your first version of the analysis, and results section of your report third draft.

We can mitigate by adding forest canopy, changing impervious surfaces to pervious surfaces, adding sinks, converting roofs to green roofs, and adding underground storage.  We will discuss general strategies for adding mitigation, and walk through one workflow for canopy addition. Your tasks will be:

1) Create a new forest canopy layer: The easiest way to create new canopy is to digitize points for new stems, buffer these at the given canopy diameters, erase where the new canopy overlaps with buildings, and clip/union with the original trees layer to create a larger canopy layer. You will later use this when you estimate runoff for your 0.5 cm mitigations. 

Remember, your new canopy needs to be combined with the existing canopy, and cannot overlap with buildings, so you'll have to erase your new canopy where it overlaps with buildings, and union/combine your canopy generated by buffering points with the existing digitized canopy.  

You need to calculate the costs for the new canopy, and you have to pay for the total new canopy planted, even if it overlaps with the existing canopy. Hence your cost is based on the total new canopy area from your new canopy buffer, before you union it with the existing canopy. It is o.k. to calculate the cost of new canopy after you've erased the portion that overlaps with buildings.

Create a map that shows the combined canopy layer (old and new), highlighting what you added new canopy. You can do this by displaying the new layer on top of the old or combined layer, using different shades. Include text listing the original canopy area, the new canopy area, and the new canopy cost, by watershed. This should be included on the map, with all annotations readable when you embed it in your Story Map.

2) Adding a rain garden. You will need to add at least one rain garden in each watershed, because of runoff from roofs, and perhaps other areas. These should be placed downstream from all buildings.  You should examine and place rain gardens, starting with large flat grassy areas, parking lots, and plazas, likely placed near the watershed pourpoint/outlet, but perhaps upstream if you add more than one rain garden per watershed. 

For now you just have to place and approximately size the rain garden, that is, put in the two layers that represent the rain garden - a pourpoint that defines where water enters the rain garden and hence the upstream area, and a polygon that represents the rain garden.  We assume all water flows into the rain garden, and if more water enters than the rain garden capacity, excess water flows through back into the water course.  Most rain gardens are effectively operating this way, with either surface or sub-surface connections to the "watershed" flowlines.

There are two complications with rain gardens.  First, they need to be near flowlines. Second, they are limited to a 0.5-meter depth, so you need to make sure you don't over or undersize them, and give them too much or too little credit for water mitigation. If you make the rain garden too big relative to the area upstream, it won't fill up for the 0.5 cm storm, and so will have wasted money making it too large.  If it is too small, it won't absorb all the upstream water. Rather than go through many analysis iterations, your best approach is to estimate runoff based on your previous runs. You have the runoff calculation without a new canopy. You have the new canopy area. You can calculate the approximate extra interception from the added canopy, visually adjust for canopy over areas with no runoff, and calculate a target rain garden size. Make a rain garden large enough to capture that amount, assuming a 0.5m deep rain garden. An alternative is to use the roof area in the watershed to calculate roof runoff volume, and estimate the amount that will come from impervious features that you can't cover with a new canopy, and size the rain garden accordingly. You can then do a full runoff calculation through your models, calculate the amount of runoff you don't capture or "extra,"  and adjust the size of the rain garden capacity if it is very much too large or too small.  Don't bother to change if the storage is within 10% of the runoff, you don't want to do too many runs through the model.

3) First version of results section for report draft 3 - you should turn in your first draft of the results for the "as is" conditions, 0.5 cm and 2.5 cm rainfall (no mitigations changes).  This is your initial draft, you will turn in a self-revised draft next week (no feedback by instructors between these two drafts). I will grade this week's submission on general progress toward including all the parts need for the results section, and not so much on the quality of the formatting and writing. Next week's draft will focus on both quality and completeness.

Week 11 - Deadlines

Before class on Monday next week, turn in:

  1. Two maps, one showing your old and new canopy layers, and a second showing the location/size of your initial rain gardens towards mitigation of a 0.5 cm rainfall events. The maps should be either as image formats (e.g., png, jpg) or as pdfs submitted to Canvas. I encourage you to create an image output and size the fonts and choose an orientation such that you may export maps that may easily integrated into your Story Map, e.g., don't put your name at the top, and use font sizes, typically larger than the defaults for legends and symbol labels, that will be easily read when displayed in your Story Map.
    The canopy map should have the new canopy area (square meters) and cost (dollars, to the nearest dollar; don't include pennies) listed somewhere on the map.
    The rain garden map should have the area, volume capacity, and cost of each rain garden on the map .
  2. Your first attempt at a results section for your third report draft, as a modification to your story map, and an exported pdf - this is your first attempt, you will self-revise and turn in a second copy next week, this initial draft will be graded for progress, but you won't get feedback on this first submission before you revise and submit next week. My purpose here is to spur you to write a draft of the results. Next week you will seriously revise this draft.

Week 11 - Resources

Week's Slides, Buffering, and strategies for "Creating" new canopy, and calculating rainfall mitigation needs.

Video here of one workflow and MB model to add tree canopy


Week 12, Nov. 21st - Assignment

Week 12 - Complete 0.5 cm mitigation

You need to complete the calculations/document the 0.5 cm rainfall mitigations, doing runoff calculations for your landscape with added canopy and your two base rain gardens, and adjusting rain garden size and/or adding impervious surface to capture all (within 5%) of runoff for 0.5 cm storm. 

There are four additional ways we'll mitigate runoff: convert impervious to pervious surfaces, rain gardens, green roofs, and underground storage. You will not need green roofs and underground storage for the 0.5 cm storm amount, but should begin adjusting the size of rain gardens and may need to add pervious pavement before leaving for Thanksgiving, and continue after returning. Note that the rain gardens and impervious surface layers and calculations should be completed by the Wednesday after Thanksgiving, so you should work on some early this week and finish early the week after Thanksgiving.

1) Resizing rain gardens. For the 0.5 cm event may be able to capture all runoff leftover after adding canopy by adding rain gardens in each watershed. As noted last week, you can approximate the needed rain garden sizes before your first run through your mitigated landscape.  After the first run, you can calculate if you need more capacity in your rain garden, subject to restrictions noted in the detailed project requirements document (e.g., near existing flowlines, not on roads or sidewalks, not consuming too much of parking lots, and others). 

Remember, rain gardens have a 0.5 meter depth, so you need to make sure you don't over or under size them, and give them too much or too little credit for water mitigation. If you make the rain garden too big for the upstream area, it won't fill up for given storm, and so will be too costly.  If it is too small, it won't absorb all the upstream water. Rather than go through many analysis iterations, your best approach is to estimate runoff based on average runoff conditions and upstream area, and make a rain garden large enough to capture that amount, assuming a 0.5m deep rain garden.  For example, you know that the roof rainfall is all converted to runoff, so you can calculate a roof runoff volume by roof area x rainfall depth (e.g., 0.005m), to give cubic meter volume.  Since the rain gardens can be 0.5 m deep, you'll need 0.005/0.5 or about 1/100th of the watershed roof area in rain gardens to capture all roof runoff. You can then verify the amount captured during a run, and adjust the calculations if the rain garden capacity is very much too large or too small.  Don't bother to change if the storage is within 5% of the runoff, you don't want to do too many runs through the model.

Rain garden costs depend on the size of the rain gardens.

1) Converting impervious surface to pervious surface. You may be able to absorb most of the water for a 0.5 cm rainfall event by adding additional canopy and rain gardens, but you may guess wrongly, or there may be areas where canopy can't be planted to cover impervious surfaces. You can convert areas to pervious pavement. You can have an idea of how much additional volume you'll need to reduce from your first runoff calculation with added canopy and rain gardens.   This will give you a net runoff. You can then roughly calculate how much road and sidewalk that isn't completely covered by canopy you need to convert to impervious surface, using the average soil maximum infiltration rates.  You then can make of copy of your original impervious surface, and split new polygons from existing features  (e.g., roads, sidewalks, plazas) and make them pervious, and do another run to calculate net runoff. 

You will have to calculate the costs of impervious to pervious conversion, by first calculating the area of converted polygons, and multiplying by the cost per area listed in the project description.

Week 12 - Deadlines

Turn in the Wednesday after Thanksgiving, before Class: 

Turn in the following maps for the 0.5 cm mitigations: 

1) a map of all mitigations for the 0.5 cm rainfall. You should include watershed outlines and flow lines, and an image or map background, but it would be better to not include the existing canopy,  buildings, or other features, to maintain the focus on what you've added to mitigate the 0.5 cm rainfall.

2) a table that shows the mitigation areas and costs, with content and formatted as described at the end of the project guidelines made available in the first week: Project Description linked here.

3)  final report draft three, a pdf exported from your modified updated story map, with revised introductions, methods, and results sections.

Week 12 - Resources

Week's slides here

Remember, we changed the amounts of storms to 0.5 cm and 2.5 cm this year for easier mitigation calculations. Some videos may refer to 2.5 and 5 cm, but ignore those amounts, we're doing 0.5 and 2.5 cm this year (it's quite a bit less work).

Video on strategies for adding rain gardens, balancing capacity to runoff, and downstream accumulation of overflow from upstream rain gardens.

Video on strategies for converting impervious surfaces to pervious surfaces

Converting impervious surfaces to pervious surfaces will likely require splitting polygons, often splitting pieces and then merging, covered in general videos here:

Remember to assign new table values reflecting the switch from impervious to pervious

Week 13, Nov. 28th - Assignments

Optional attendance both Monday and Wednesday
Week 13 -  Finish mitigations and runoff calculations for 0.5 cm rainfall, advance mitigations for 2.5 cm rainfall

You should implement mitigations and do runoff calculations for your 2.5 cm rainfall event.

Add rain gardens, because the multiple rain gardens are perhaps a bit complicated, best done with some strategic manual calculations.

Increase pervious surface areas.

Add green roofs. You may still have positive runoff after adding rain gardens and pervious surface, so you may need to add green roofs.  Any flat roof can be converted to a green roof, they will absorb all the rainfall of both a 0.5cm and a 2.5cm storm.  This is an expensive way to reduce runoff, and is limited to just the roofs, but is a less expensive alternative than underground storage. 

The amount of runoff reduction is easy to calculate for any storm amount less than 5 cm - the area of the roof in square meters, multiplied by the storm amount, e.g., 0.025 meters (2.5 cm converted to meters), for cubic meters of outflow reduction.  You don't need to do another full application of your geoprocessing workflow, because of our assumptions of no absorption of overland flow. You can calculate the rainfall volume that falls on any converted roof, and subtract that amount from the runoff calculated with your rain gardens and pervious surface present.

You must calculate the cost, on a per surface area basis for converted rooftops.

Underground Storage. After subtracting the reduction in runoff due to green roofs, you may still have a positive outflow. If that is the case, then you can simply designate an amount of underground storage.  Again, you don't need to re-run your workflow, you can simple designate the amount of underground storage as that left over after everything else, and calculate your required storage volumes.

You should also calculate the following numbers to include in your report, organized in one or more tables, and also discussed in the results section

  • Added canopy area,
  • Total added canopy cost,
  • Impervious to pervious surface conversion area,
  • Total surface conversion costs,
  • Total area in added rain gardens,
  • Total rain garden cost,
  • Green roof area,
  • Green roof cost,
  • Total underground storage volume,
  • Total underground storage cost
  • Total Cost, all mitigations

Week 13 - Deadlines

Turn in by Monday, next week, before the start of class:

1) map showing the rain gardens, with flowlines and watershed boundaries (not filled), an image background, with a table showing the surface area of the rain garden in sq. m., the maximum volume of water stored for each rain garden in cubic m., the upstream area, the upstream water produced under 0.5 cm of rainall and 2.5 cm rainfall, and the cost of the rain garden

2) a map showing new pervious surfaces, with watershed boundaries (not filled), an image background, and an annotation or table showing the total area converted to pervious surface, and the total cost, for a 2.5 cm storm.

3) Data tables for your reports, as specified in the report guidelines and problem statement. You should be able to nearly completely fill these out, but whatever your progress, complete them as much as you can, and turn them in as a pdf.

Week 13 - Resources

Video, calculating summed area and cost of green roofs

Video, workflow calculating rain garden costs, converted pervious surface areas and costs.

Week 14, Dec. 5th - Assignments

Optional attendance Monday and Wednesday

Week 14 - Continue Analysis Under Modifications

Project work, modifications and analysis to mitigate runoff for prescribed rainfall amounts

Week 14 - Deadlines

By Next Monday, at the Start of Class, 

  • Not a dang thing

Week 14 - Resources


Week 15, Dec. 12th - Assignment, Write Report

Optional attendance Monday and Wednesday

Week 15 - Work on final analysis and final report

Finals Week - Assignments

No class final; all assignments due by Wednesday, December 21, 11:59 pm

You should put your final geodatabases on the L:drive, the 4295 share directory, in a directory with your name and the word "final" as part of the directory name. You should also submit a note to the class Canvas site for the final data, letting me know you have transferred the data to the L drive.

You should complete your Story Map, and turn in a pdf export of your final report on the class Canvas site, in the final report section. Don't worry about formatting the pdf if the export garbles things a bit, I'll be reviewing/grading based on the Story Map, although recording notes on your pdf.

Your final report should include the information provided in previous drafts, plus a description/discussion of the changes for reducing runoff to zero under the different rainfall amounts. This should include appropriate maps/figures. You should include an appendix section for figures that or too complex or for maps or data that would unnecessarily lengthen the main story, but which you wish to include for completeness (e.g., your detailed flowcharts are too complicated for the main description, but could be included in appendix).

I would expect the following figures in your final report main body:
- Study area/watershed boundary overview, labeled to identify the two watersheds so that you may refer to them individually in the results/discussion,
- Two or more figures showing base conditions (buildings, land cover, tree canopy, soils, flowpaths),
- Composite maximum surface absorption, for base conditions. This is the amount that could potentially absorb/infiltrate into the ground surface, combining the impacts of impervious areas, buildings, and soils
- Runoff for each of the base conditions (2.5 and 5 cm rains),
- Two or more figures showing modifications for your 2.5 cm mitigation, identifying new canopy, rain gardens, green roofs, and pervious conversions. These won't all clearly fit on a single figure, and typically require two or three figures,
- Two or more figures as above showing modifications for your 5 cm mitigations, as above
- A raingarden map with the raingarden polygons shown, their corresponding pourpoints, labeled by unique IDs/names, that correspond to the unique IDs/names of the new raingardens. 
- There may be a second raingarden map to that above if you have two different sets of raingardens, one for 2.5 mitigations and one for 5 cm rainfall mitigations.
- Composite maximum surface absorption, for 2.5 cm modified conditions. This is the amount that could potentially absorb/infiltrate into the ground surface, combining the impacts of modifications on impervious areas, buildings, and soils.
- Same as line above, for 5 cm modified conditions
- 2.5 and 5 cm runoff under modified conditions
- Tables, as described in the project handout, that show rain garden details, mitigation amounts and details, and costs.

You will likely need to modify any figures you turned in during the semester, increasing some font sizes to be readable, including scale bars, north arrows, and legends.  They should not have your names on the figures. Each figure should be numbered, and have a descriptive caption below the figure. 

You need tables as identified in the project description, matching numbers in the table to your rain garden pour points in your mitigation figures.  Make sure the table entries to not carry ridiculous numbers of significant figures. Round costs to the nearest dollar, watershed volumes to the nearest cubic meter, and surface runoff to the nearest 0.001 meters.

You also need to turn in your data. You should create a directory with your name on the L:drive, 4295share directory, and copy three final geodatabases:

1) A geodatabase with the word "Current" in the name that contains data used for calculating your "current condition" runoff for 2.5 cm and 5 cm storms. These are the data you used at the start of your workflow, that is, after you added columns or modified the base data we gave you, but before you started your runoff workflow.  Don't include intermediate layers. The geodatabase should include:

  • your final "runoff" layers, that is, the layers that you summed by watershed to get the total runoff volume for the study areas, 
  •  watersheds,
  • flowpath layer
  • canopy
  • impervious/pervious surface
  • buildings
  • rainfall layers 

2) A geodatabase with "2p5cm" in the name, which includes the modified layers used to obtain your 2.5 cm mitigation of runoff. You should include the modified layers for a 2.5 cm storm only, not the original layers (these are in the database above). Turn in the following:

  • your final "runoff" layers, that is, the layers that you summed by watershed to get the total runoff volume for the study areas, 
  • flowpath layer
  • layer with only the new canopy you added
  • composite canopy layer, combining the old and new canopy
  • layer of areas changed from impervious to pervious
  • modified  composite impervious/pervious surface, after you've integrated the changes, to show maximum infiltration capacity
  • modified buildings, with roof attribute values changed to identify buildings with green roofs
  • rain garden layers, the rain garden polygons, and each corresponding pour point
  • watersheds, calculated with your new rain garden pour points

3) a geodatabase with the "5cm" in the name, including all layers similar to those above, but for your 5 cm rainfall mitigations.

DO NOT include "extra" or intermediate data in your geodatabase, and make sure the data layers are clearly named.

Finals Week - Deadlines

Wednesday, Dec. 22rd by 11:59 p.m., complete your final report/story map, and export it to a pdf to turn in via Canvas, and submit a copy of your final, cleaned data (no extra layers) to the 4295Share\yournamefinaldata subdirectory